Dog Lovers and Others

From the mail bag: Kevin writes, I love dogs and live with a partner who doesn’t. She merely tolerates them because she loves me. I’m wondering how you and Andrew work out ways to keep everybody happy.

Dear Kevin: I was born with an affinity for dogs, and was permitted to have dogs from an early age. Andrew was never allowed to have pets growing up. So he’s never had the experience of being changed by a dog’s love. I already had a dog when I married Andrew. Kiera-1 and I came as a package deal, and she softened him up quite a bit.

For as much as he loves Kiera (especially–she’s his running buddy) and now Graidy, I’m sure if I died tomorrow, he would never get another dog. He just doesn’t have that need. Just like if he died tomorrow, I’d never pick up another golf club. But, thankfully, we’re both still here. And loving each other means understanding and accepting each other’s passions. The things we do for love…:)

In our house, there’s been a fair amount of negotiating. The dogs are allowed on one couch with me, but on none of the other furniture. If I lived alone, they’d be allowed on all of it. They are allowed in the kitchen while we eat as long as they don’t make a peep. Andrew is allowed to play golf three times a week. If he lived alone, he’d try to play everyday.

How about the rest of you? I’d love to hear how those of you who live with “others” instead of “dog lovers” work out ways to keep everyone happy.

7 thoughts on “Dog Lovers and Others”

  1. We’re both happy with our two Golden Retrievers but though I’d love to adopt a refuge dog or two (my heart breaks when I think of them) H. refuses citing space, vet’s fees etc. He’s right but still….

  2. I’ll write my usual book. :)

    When we got married, while my husband wasn’t sure about cats, he knew it was a package deal. Then I ended up adopting a stray about a month before the wedding — he definitely wasn’t up for that, but I couldn’t stand the fact that no one was taking any of the kittens a cat had had in my stairwell.

    Over the years he put up with a lot. Our deal was that I take care of the cats. And while I kept my end — feeding them, scooping the litterbox, taking them to the vets, etc. — we had a big problem with inappropriate elimination at one point.

    Then when they got older, there was more inappropriate elimination due to illness, and a lot of vomiting. He even in the very end learned how to give sub-qs to one of them, because otherwise when I was traveling, we had to pay our pet sitter to do it. It wasn’t easy for him; the needles really freaked him out, but he stepped up.

    When we adopted our younger kittens, the deal was still I take care of them. But he fell in love with them immediately. He built them all sorts of cool stuff. Unfortunately, they’re still both “my” cats, in that they love me best.

    When our oldest cat when was gone, I wanted a dog. We had one on trial adoption, which didn’t work out, but what became obvious to us both was that my husband was more of a dog person than a cat person.

    Unfortunately, altho he loves Chester, our first dog, to pieces, Chester thinks the moon & sun rises with me. I still do 90% of the work; I do most of the training, I take them to classes, I do the longer walks, and I take them to the vet.

    Finally, tho, after 6 animals, we have one that adores him: Lola. Which is funny, considering that he really didn’t want to get a second dog, and there’s been lots of grumbling along the way because she needed a lot of work.

    Still, he joked the other day that if we got divorced, he wanted Lola!

    People can change, is my long-winded story. Animals aren’t the center of the world for my husband, like they are for me, but they’re getting there.

    We have the same problem here; no matter what animal we get, they wind up attaching themselves to me. Though Kiera has found it in her heart to make Andrew her second most loved possession. : ) Thanks for such a thoughtful comment, Judy.  

  3. My mother was terrified of the animal (German shepherd, but a lamb), the hair and the dirt.

    She learned a valuable lesson. If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em. Not fighting it was a big deal, earned her a certain respect for being a good sport.

    That’s what Andrew has learned; not fighting it wins him beaucoup brownie points.

  4. In this household we both love dogs but I’m like you, they would have complete access. Terril allows them in but they stay on the floor. MOSTLY! I don’t like them riding in my vehicle but he lets them ride in his, on the seat no less. It’s all about compromise.

    Oh! Don’t even get me started on the car negotiating! LOL! 

  5. When my husband and I met I was a dog person and he was a cat person, although neither one of us had a pet (we were in college). When we decided to consider getting a pet, the logical choice was a cat, because of our living space. I was a bit apprehensive at first but once we adopted Nala I quickly turned into a cat lover as well. It was a smooth process for us both, as we both love animals.
    My dad on the other hand is a no-pet person while my mom is a dog lover. He mostly just puts up with the dog (with a lot of grumbling). But the fact that they have a husky who is a decent watchdog makes him like her (Misty) just a teeny bit….although he won’t admit it! He knows my mother feels safer with a dog around.

    I think Andrew feels the way your dad does. He knows that neither Cait nor I ever have worry when my dogs are around. He knows they’re fully capable of taking care of any problem.  

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